How to scan down harder cosmic signatures?

So I’m a new player who recently started exploring, and since I’m still poor, I have only been using the Core Probe Launcher I and Core Scanner Probe I. This is enough to scan down Level I, II, and III sites.

However, for Level IV and higher sites, I’ve been having trouble scanning them down. My Core Probe Launcher I + Probes only have a base scan strength of 66 points, and they have trouble scanning down Level IV or higher sites. I can only get to signal to around 60%, even with 0.25 AU distance.

I realized that the Sisters core probe launcher and the Sisters probes provide more scan strength, and I am thinking about using them, although they are expensive and I am scared of losing my ship. Is it worth it to get Sisters launchers and probes, and will I be able to scan down harder signatures?

Also, are there skills that give me better scan strength?

(By the way, I’m an Alpha Clone in a Imicus. I really want to enter sleeper caches which I currently can’t scan down!)

One thing you can do is to make your probes overlap more.

Hold Ctrl and drag the probes together until they look more like this for a higher result.
(provided you know where the location is - this formation can be worse than the standard formation when you do not yet know where the true location of the signature is).

As you can ‘save’ one formation, I have this formation on smallest probe size saved in case I ever need it for quick combat probes on grid or to get the last few percentages out of a tough signature.


Other methods to increase probe strength will involve skills or items:

  • astrometric rangefinding skill
  • astrometrics skill
  • increase your frigate level. Imicus gets higher probe strength per level.
  • better ship - the Helios for example can have 50% strength on max level, which is better than the Imicus
  • gravity capacitor rig
  • scan rangefinding array (mid slot module)
  • higher tier probe launcher (T2 or sisters)
  • higher tier probes (sisters)
  • implants, such as the virtue set or astrometric rangefinding implant

As new player the T2 launcher and T2 ship are likely too far away and sister probe launcher and implants are too expensive for now, but they’ll be nice options later on.
I recommend getting your scanning skills up to level 3-4, equip the rig and maybe a rangefinding array or two. Sister probes are a good option too once you can afford them, I rarely use normal probes.



You can also hold SHIFT and move probes individually.

You only need 4 probes to locate an object, and the other 4 just improve the signal strength.

When I was having difficulties, I resorted to two tetrahedrons with one inverted, but others have reported a cube formation worked for them.

Double-click on a signature in the list to center it on the map, place your probes (use the two buttons at the bottom of the map to change views), then zoom in and out a LARGE AMOUNT and watch the probes. If they stick on the signature, you are good-to-go. However if the probes move off it, then they are not well positioned.

Also, some things are next to imposable to find. Once you start finding what you want, you will see a pattern of how fast you can find it. While I would encourage finding harder sites in your future, I would suggest for now that if you don’t scan the site down in that amount time for what your looking for, move on to save time.

Not an answer for this, since 60% is too low, but I’ve been at 85% before and I moved all the probes just a bit more towards the middle and I was able to get to 100%.

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